Saturday, March 8, 2014 is International Women’s Day. This is an occasion to pay tribute to women everywhere who have made a difference in the lives of others. It is a day to celebrate the women who have led – and continue to lead – the way forward towards a more just and equal society.

One of the themes for this year’s celebration is “Inspiring Change”.

Around the world, and in each of our daily lives, women bring positive change to every facet of life. Women are leaders of some of the most powerful countries in the world and each day in our City, our Province, and our country we see the outstanding accomplishments of women scientists, leaders of multinational organisations, writers, medical professionals, athletes, astronauts, artists, philanthropists and the list can go on and on.

Women have achieved iconic status in all professions and walks of life and are vital to the economic prosperity and security of our communities and families.

We have many remarkable women who are community leaders here in Ottawa. It was my honour to host some of these inspirational women at the Mayor’s International Women’s Day Breakfast this year on March 5th. It was great to be able to celebrate with so many extraordinary individuals, including our guest speaker, Sue O’Sullivan, the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime and former Ottawa Police Deputy Chief, as we commemorated the achievements of women worldwide.

Wishing you all a Happy International Women’s Day!

Jim Watson